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Tomb of the Overseers
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/16/2011 12:16:18

This adventure is pretty much a dungeon crawl, although neatly dressed up with a backstory which makes it easy to provide suitable introductory events to round it out into a full scenario or to weave this little jaunt into an ongoing campaign. Alternatively, the backstory could be read out as a summary if you plan on running this adventure as a one-off game.


As provided, the adventurers are standing on the threshold of the Tomb of the Overseers, ready to go in. The map is laid out clearly, a bit linear... but such is the way of tombs of this sort (just look at the archaeological record!); with good succinct descriptions and notes on what you will find in each chamber. With a couple of exceptions, all monsters encountered are just that - something with which to do combat. The exceptions are pretty constrained in what they'll do, but should at least give those characters who like to talk rather than fight some opportunity to do so.


There is a distinct tendency for this adventure to be merely a mechanical puzzle-solving, monster fighting and item collection exercise, but this fits well in this instance because of the nature of the mission that the characters have been given. However, if there is a reason why the Big Bad Evil Guy at the end is actually there, it's not stated: however, he is the reason that the characters will want to collect all the handy items scattered around the place, so it is worth scavenging them all up!


Assuming the characters do defeat him, they will be able to complete their task, and there's even a note about follow-on events, although you will have to flesh them out for yourself... potential to kick-start a whole campaign if the ideas appeal.


An interesting note is that this adventure was published very early in the life of D&D 3e, and many of the monsters given cursory descriptions here appeared in later monster books - you may wish to track them down and so flesh the monsters out a bit before you run the adventure. But there's sufficient here to run them without, especially as they are there as combat-fodder rather than true encounters.


Overall, what seems to be a basic dungeon-bash actually has a bit more to it, if you wish to make use of it within a broader context, else if a quick fight through a small dungeon is what you need to fill an evening, this will do very nicely. Worth having around, for those nights when someone's missing or nobody feels like heavy role-play and ongoing plot arcs.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tomb of the Overseers
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Wilds
by Lorinc P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2010 14:57:15

The content is okay, but the poor quality of scanning makes it hard to read on-screen and impossible to print.
Not recommended.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Wilds
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Castle Zadrian
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/11/2010 11:48:09

The premise of the adventure is simple: an alchemist with more money than sense has disappeared and his adoring wife is prepared to part with a goodly chunk of his wealth to get him back. What adventurer worth the name could possibly refuse?


The DM's introduction explains succinctly what the problem really is, and then settles down to set the scene in detail. The missing alchemist lived in a country castle (I did say he was well-off...) with a nearby village: there's loads of information to enable you to run the castle and village well, but without constraining you as to just where or in what country it is, so it can be located wherever convenient within your campaign world. There is quite a bit of information to pick up in the village, should the characters be prepared to go and ask... and then on to the castle itself, easily found about four miles away within thick forest.


The castle rooms are clearly described and, given the underlying rationale for what's actually happened to the alchemist, logical - although until the characters deduce just what has taken place, quite baffling. There are opportunities for those characters who like to work things out and for whom combat is not the only way of interacting with everyone you meet in the 'dungeon' part of an adventure, but plenty of scope to exercise the sword arm and practise offensive spellcasting as well: a nice balance. Provided that the characters make their way through the castle, they can find out where and how to set things aright... and of course there's a good final conflict scene in which they have the opportunity to do just that.


This is a neat little adventure, which should occupy an evening's play - perhaps an interlude when characters are travelling, or an opportunity to top up their funds with a bit of honest adventuring if finaces are low. Unless a wizard gets fascinated by the alchemist's work, there is not much, however, to build on: complete the adventure and move on. Hence it could serve as a 'one-off' game if required.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castle Zadrian
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Stargate SG-1: Roleplaying Game
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/06/2010 15:01:29

I'm a huge Stargate fanboy, so this was a must-have for me. However, I found that I couldn't read it for extended periods of time due to the low quality of the scan. It is a scanned copy and there are track marks on the pages and the text is a bit fuzzy sometimes, making my eyes strain. The background information is wonderful, as well as the in depth look of the SGC. However, the number of options, while making for great choices during character creation can be a bit overwhelming.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Stargate SG-1: Roleplaying Game
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Ultimate Toolbox
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/06/2010 13:07:03

I missed out on the days of First Edition, but from what I’ve heard from friends who were gaming back then, one of the lovable quirks of the old Dungeon Master’s Guide was its collection of tables for various things. With just a few random rolls, you could determine who you met in town, what treasure was in a monster’s hoard, and so many other things. Nowadays, with concerns of balance and world-design, there’s far less emphasis placed on such randomness, and those quirky old tables are gone.


Luckily, AEG’s Ultimate Toolbox is there to bring them back again.


Now, to be clear, I never read the original Toolbox, so I can’t speak to how this is more expanded than the original. Hence, I’m reviewing this book on its own merits. And what merits they are. Four hundred pages long, with the front and back covers in a separate file, Ultimate Toolbox is big. The book is divided into seven chapters – character, world, civilization, maritime, dungeon, magic, plot – with an appendix. Each chapter then contains a number of tables that are thematically related to the chapter in question; the appendix contains miscellanious


Each table in the book contains twenty items; plenty of times, the subject matter would go on for far more than twenty entries, which resulted in them simply breaking the table and continuing on with the subject in another table. For example, Table 1-4: Character Backgrounds/Concepts 1 lists twenty possible character backgrounds, barely scratching the list of possibilities, and so continues to list them in Table 1-5: Character Backgrounds/Concepts 2.


The book is illustrated sparsely, with comparatively few grayscale images popping up every so often. However, each page has a fairly elaborate border, with chains hanging off of the tops of the pages, and an alternating bottom border with either a hooded figure or a pile of skulls. Obviously, this book isn’t printer-friendly, though I presume that there’s a print version of this book already for sale.


The one technical aspect of the book that I do find fault with, however, is the lack of bookmarks in the PDF. I’m of the opinion that all PDFs should utilize bookmarks, and that’s more true for this book than most. The sheer volume of tables here would make bookmarks, even to various sub-sections of chapters, extremely useful.


It should be said, also, that there’s more to this book than just tables. Various sidebars pop up every so often to discuss some finer point to various subjects. Even more helpful though are the “how to use this chapter” sections found at the end of each chapter. These provide a helpful example, usually more than one, to illustrate how you’d use combinations of these tables to chart things like communities, the history of a magic item, or a PC background, for instance. It’s a very helpful inclusion that puts a practical spin on the book’s contents.


Ultimate Toolbox may appear to just be a collection of random tables at first glance, but there’s far more to it than that. Arranged in a logical sequence, the tables cover a huge expanse of material, and have helpful examples for how to string them together to create interesting results for your campaign. The next time you need inspiration, or just want to randomly determine something that you hadn’t thought of, reach into your Ultimate Toolbox.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Toolbox
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Magic
by Rob C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2010 21:55:53

Make sure to pay attention to the fact that this is a 'scanned' book. The OCR that created the hidden text (that makes the PDF document searchable) underlying the image is fairly good but not perfect. Plus, the document is 65MB in size. This was a lesson to me to pay attention to the fine print in the product description.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Magic
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Ultimate Toolbox
by Ward M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/16/2010 21:20:51

"Utlimate Toolbox" published by AEG, 400 pgs. black & white. PDF format


This product consists of random lists divided into seven chapters (plus one appendix.) Each chapter covers a different aspect of campaign design. (See the free sample for a table of contents)


The good:


1) Some of the tables are quite inventive and helpful: twenty ways to describe a room other than saying "it's empty"; twenty ways to introduce the PC's that don't involve meeting a tavern; and a blank chart called 'twenty good uses for a gnome' are my favorites.


2) a relative lack of spelling errors, which is something unusual in the PDF's I have bought lately.


3) The PDF is twenty USD cheaper than the dead tree version.


The bad:


1) Each page of the PDF has a background stationery pattern, which will kill you if you try to print this book out yourself.


2) For some unexplained reason, the "How to use this chapter" page is at the end of each chapter. (It would make more sense to me if this were at the beginning of the chapter.)


The Ugly:


The PDF is four hundred pages long and has no hyperlinks. Even if it just allowed jumps from chapter to chapter, it would be better than nothing at all. Throw me a bone here!


Overall impression:


I bought this book because everyone kept telling me the sun rose and set around it. If you suffer from brain cramp or writer's block, this book is sure to jar something loose. This book isn't the center of the universe, as some people insist, but it is a very interesting book with good ideas.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Toolbox
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Toolbox
by Bruce W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/30/2009 20:39:40

I was very disappointed in this pdf. It is very hard/impossible to select text, which was the reason I purchased it. I love the product, but the pdf version is awful.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Toolbox
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Ultimate Toolbox
by Francisco M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/06/2009 03:35:45

I had some interest in this product since I saw a couple of good reviews at UncleBear (http://unclebear.com/?p=-
3773
) and RPG.net (htt-
p://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/14/14296.phtml
). And being a fan of random charts and seeds for ideas, I decided to buy it.


Discarded the physical edition for having too little space for books right now, and thinking it would be more useful to have all that information in electronic format, easy to search and to reach, I bought it here, in RPGNow.


All in all, I have exactly what I was told I would find in this product. But it's pretty surprising that for 20 euros, the price of a normal book out there in RL, the only "plus" is the capability of using the search engine that every PDF reader has. No markers, no hyperlinked text, no adaptated version for reading it on a computer screen... No using all the possibilities an electronic format has. In my opinion, now that I have paid for it, 20 euros is pretty high when you have plenty of other products of random charts out there for less than 5 €.


So please, AEG and every other RPG publisher: if you are going to sell PDF version of your products, please use all the advantages the electronic format offers. Selling the PDF you sent to the printer's should be a lot more cheaper than this.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Ultimate Toolbox
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Warlords of the Accordlands: The Master Codex
by Joshua S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/17/2009 09:40:06

This is an amazing book, the classes are well designed (though not necessarilly well balanced) and the races are departures from the stereotypical norms. Class / Race abilities are amazing. For someone who likes D&D 3.0 or 3.5 this book is a blast.


The other reviewer says that this is an almost unreadable scan, I disagree, I haven't had any problem with reading it. Some of the pages were at a bit of an angle when it was scanned in, however it is readable without any difficulty.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Warlords of the Accordlands: The Master Codex
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Sundered Faith
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/06/2009 05:38:49

This adventure is an urban interlude, which should be run when the characters are in a large town about other business. The town needs to be big enough to have organised government and a sewer system... because the former wants the latter cleaned up!


It appears that recently some sewer workers were slain while cleaning up after a recent earthquake, and the 'city fathers' want to hire some adventurers to deal with the problem. If the characters don't take heed, it is suggested that some of the undead who are actually causing the problems pop up out of the sewers and attack passers-by or even the characters themselves until they do do something about it!


The adventure itself is a fairly straightforward 'dungeon bash' with a few twists - being a sewer it is very cramped - a 5-foot diameter circular tube, which will cause problems for both tall characters and anyone using a weapon that needs to be swung for full effect. The place is heaving with undead too, as the earthquake opened a way to a long-lost evil temple hidden in the bowels of the earth. The undead are enthusiastically coming out to infest the sewers and the city above. Worse, the temple is resistant to the usual magic that adventurers tend to employ - turning undead doesn't work as well as normal, and healing spells are also diminished in potency.


Although there's occasional mention of 'filth' and 'foulness' the fact that sewers are dirty, disease-ridden places is by and large ignored. You might wish to add a few choice diseases, and get characters to make Fortitude saves to avoid retching at the stench! The descriptions do not really bring over the feeling of claustrophobia that a small, dark tunnel ought to either - but perhaps adventurers are made of sterner stuff and don't mind such enclosed spaces...


Possibly worth dropping in as an interlude if your characters are wandering around a suitable town without much to do, especially if they enjoy dungeon-crawl fighting adventures.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Sundered Faith
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FarScape Roleplaying Game
by Francisco J. B. C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2009 13:07:26

A great buy due to the GM Day (horray for us, guys!), this is a nice d20 (DnD 3.0 players handbook required, mind you) take on the well-loved if short-lived series. The only problem I see with it is that it's a scan of the actual book, so that means it is a bit on the heavy side (95 or so Mb), and that the text is not that clear. There's also the issue about the layout using an unconventional two colum format that gets a bit hard to get used to, or for some other it might get a wee bit hard to read after a while.


All in all, the spirit of the series is captured and there's no need to buy anything to flesh out your campaign as all the relevant information is in there, presented in concise, organized and useful manner.


It would definitely be a five-star product if only the quality of the file could be improved, but if you had any interest in the series or like Space-Opera settings, this is a really good buy and almost as steal at the sales price.


LIKED: The quality of the informations.


DISLIKED: The overall quality of the scans. To a lesser degree, the unconventional page layout.


OVERALL: Satisfied with the product.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
FarScape Roleplaying Game
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Stargate SG-1: First Steps
by Ian K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/15/2009 13:14:42

This review applies to the recently updated version of the PDF.


The First Steps book contains a wealth of original material for the SG-1 game, ten new worlds to explore each described in detail. There are new alien and near-human races, new skills and new feats to go with these worlds.


The PDF is a scanned image of the book, rather than a publication created from the original typesetting material. The image format results in a large file size.


The tracking lines, evident in the previous version available here, have now gone. The image quality is much better than the previous version as well. The missing pages, pages 77 and 80, have made it in to the new scan.


A much better version of the PDF making this a good purchase for the SG-1 game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Stargate SG-1: First Steps
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The Lost King
by Todd B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/17/2008 22:53:53

The premise and general structure of this adventure is nice and fun. But now that I've run most of it for my gaming group, I see that there are several fairly serious plot flaws that weren't caught.


For example, there's pretty much only one way to really fully complete the main quest and that is - according to the module - to use Speak with Animals to talk to a key creature the adventuring party encounters. But the creature the PCs have to talk to isn't an animal, so the spell wouldn't actually work.


There are several cases like this, where the module contradicts what's written in the basic D&D books. But for the most part, you can improvise your way around these problems, and the story itself is good and fun. My players were surprised by one particular plot twist, which is always a good sign. And the price can't be beat!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Lost King
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Stargate SG-1: Roleplaying Game
by Ian K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2008 06:47:42

Having enjoyed the TV series, I was excited when I noticed this product on the shelves of DriveThruRPG and was quick to purchase. I'm not disappointed by the content. The d20 implementation is well done, with the Wounds/Vitality game mechanic used for combat. There is also a wealth of background material for the SG-1 setting. The review of the game residing at RPGnet is excellent and covers the game content well: htt-
p://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/10/10809.phtml


Specifically to this PDF version, I'm afraid it's not to the quality I've come to expect from DriveThruRPG. The PDF is a scanned image rather than a publication created from the original typesetting material. The image format results in a large file size, a whopping 88Mb. There are clearly visible track marks from the scanner down the pages. These are especially noticeable on pages including images where the darker background highlights the lines. The image quality is also not as crisp as a PDF published from the original material, some of the text being slightly out of focus and fuzzy. Again, this is more noticeable where there is a background to the text. Several pages are not quite square to the page sides, where the page has slipped as it has gone through the scanner. This is especially evident on pages 436 and 448 of the PDF.


All in all, an excellent d20 product let down by quality issues in the PDF version.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Stargate SG-1: Roleplaying Game
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